Inside My Kindle: 100 Books For PMs, UX, Entrepreneurs, Systems Thinkers, Design Thinkers, and Other Crazies (Like Me)

John Cutler
Dec 7, 2015 · 6 min read

I’m a product development nut. And I’m a book junkie. I love this stuff. I recently moved to Raleigh, NC (from always blissful Santa Barbara, CA) to work at, a startup focused on helping product managers build awesome products. You can find me on Twitter at @johncutlefish.

It occurred to me today that my Kindle collection was starting to get pretty large. Poking around Amazon I realized that you can actually get a list of all your purchased books. It isn’t a perfect list (the titles are cut off), but it gives you enough information to find the book. The kicker was getting an email from a friend asking for some book recommendations. So I decided to share the current state of the book list with her (and you).

This covers the topics that interest me: leadership, UX, startups, cognitive bias, product management, Agile, management, complexity theory, marketing, design thinking, system thinking, data, analytics, hypothesis-driven development, product development, self-improvement, communication, organization design, lean, kanban, collaboration, and generally figuring out ways groups of people can continuously improve and build useful stuff.

I’ve read each of these books. I’m a big believer that there is never a magic bullet. None of these books presents the definitive “way”. Where there is a “why” (and inspiration, and rigor, and an open mind), there are a host of tools that can help get you there. Choose wisely.


  • #Workout: Games, Tools & Practices to Engage People, Improve..
    Jurgen Appelo
  • 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (Voices..
    Susan Weinschenk
  • Agile Business: A Leader’s Guide to Harnessing Complexity
    Bob Gower
  • Agile Experience Design: A Digital Designer’s Guide to..
    Lindsay Ratcliffe
  • Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that..
    Roman Pichler
  • All Edge: Inside the New Workplace Networks
    Clay Spinuzzi
  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto)
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management (Pragmatic..
    Johanna Rothman
  • Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error
    Kathryn Schulz
  • Blinkracy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Make Any Company..
    Sebastian Klein
  • Bootstrapping Using Services: Entrepreneur Journeys
    Sramana Mitra
  • Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy
    Martin Lindstrom
  • Conversion Optimization: The Art and Science of Converting..
    Khalid Saleh
  • Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are..
    Kerry Patterson
  • Data Driven Design: How Today’s Product Designer Approaches..
    Phillip A. Harris
  • Designing the Conversation: Techniques for Successful..
    Russ Unger
  • Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful..
    Bill Aulet
  • Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup
    Brad Feld
  • Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web..
    Steve Krug
  • Drift into Failure: From Hunting Broken Components to..
    Sidney Dekker
  • Ending the Management Illusion: How to Drive Business..
    Hersh Shefrin
  • Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten..
    Salim Ismail
  • Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days
    Jessica Livingston
  • Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for..
    J.D. Meier
  • Getting to Yes with Yourself: (and Other Worthy Opponents)
    William Ury
  • Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes..
    S.J. Scott
  • Holacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing.. Brian Robertson
  • How Google Works
    Eric Schmidt
  • How To Be The Luckiest Person Alive!
    James Altucher
  • How to Change the World: Change Management 3.0
    Jurgen Appelo
  • How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for..
    Abby Covert
  • Impact Mapping: Making a big impact with software products..
    Gojko Adzic
  • Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash..
    Mary Poppendieck
  • Influence (Collins Business Essentials)
    Cialdini PhD
  • Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love
    Marty Cagan
  • Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything
    Peter Morville
  • Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights
    Steve Portigal
  • Joel on Software
    Joel Spolsky
  • Kanban
    David J. Anderson
  • Kanban from the Inside: Understand the Kanban Method,..
    Mike Burrows
  • Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster..
    Alistair Croll
  • Lean Change Management: Innovative practices for managing..
    Jason Little
  • Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate..
    Jez Humble
  • Lean from the Trenches: Managing Large-Scale Projects with..
    Henrik Kniberg
  • Lean Marketing for Startups: Agile Product Development,..
    Sean Ellis
  • Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience
    Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden
  • Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning..
    Edward D Hess
  • Lessons in Agile Management: On the Road to Kanban
    David J Anderson
  • Let’s Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get..
    Dick Axelrod
  • Life is Short And So Is This Book: Brief Thoughts On Making..
    Peter Atkins
  • Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small..
    Peter Sims
  • Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile..
    Jurgen Appelo
  • Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and..
    William Albert
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
    Carol Dweck
  • Nail It then Scale It: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating..
    Nathan Furr
  • No One Understands You and What to Do About It
    Heidi Halvorson
  • Once a Runner: A Novel
    Parker Jr.
  • Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life
  • Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting,..
    Oren Klaff
  • Poke the Box
    Seth Godin
  • Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
    Al Ries
  • Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The..
    Dan Ariely
  • Purple People Leader
    Chester Goad
  • Quantifying the User Experience: Practical Statistics for..
    Jeff Sauro
  • Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations..
    Frederic Laloux
  • Rework
    Jason Fried
  • Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to..
    Steve Krug
  • Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works (Lean..
    Ash Maurya
  • Scaling Up
    Verne Harnish
  • Scrumban: Essays on Kanban Systems for Lean Software..
    Corey Ladas
  • Self-Reliance
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Seven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases..
    Eric Redmond
  • Signals and Boundaries: Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive..
    John H. Holland
  • Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide
    Alex Reinhart
  • Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
    Chip Heath
  • TAPE SUCKS: Inside Data Domain, A Silicon Valley Growth..
    Frank Slootman
  • Team Geek: A Software Developer’s Guide to Working Well with..
    Brian Fitzpatrick
  • The 8 Qualities of Drama Free Teams: Do More. Stress Less
    Dennis McIntee
  • The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and..
    Seth Godin
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning..
    Peter M. Senge
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When..
    Ben Horowitz
  • The Human Side of Agile — How to Help Your Team Deliver
    Gil Broza
  • The Innovator’s Hypothesis: How Cheap Experiments Are Worth..
    Michael Schrage
  • The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the..
    Stephen Denning
  • The Lean Mindset: Ask the Right Questions
    Mary Poppendieck
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous..
    Eric Ries
  • The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering,..
    Frederick P. Brooks
  • The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance
    Jim Whitehurst
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and..
    Charles Duhigg
  • The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second..
    Donald G. Reinertsen
  • The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for..
    steve blank
  • The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    Douglas Adams
  • The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design..
    Leah Buley
  • The War Of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle
    Steven Pressfield
  • Thinking in Systems: A Primer
    Meadows. Donella
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow
    Daniel Kahneman
  • Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good
    Kevin Smith
  • User Interface Inspection Methods: A User-Centered Design..
    Chauncey Wilson
  • User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development..
    Mike Cohn
  • User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the..
    Jeff Patton
  • Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and..
    Avinash Kaushik
  • Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to..
    Cesar Hidalgo
  • Why Plans Fail: Cognitive Bias, Decision Making, and Your..
    Jim Benson
  • Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter
    Cass R. Sunstein
  • Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform..
    Laszlo Bock
  • Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing..
    Herminia Ibarra
  • Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
    Peter Thiel

Thanks! Did I get anyone’s name wrong? Do the links within Medium work? Did I miss someone? Do you have other recommendations? Let me know …

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